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Setting up a Corporate Rate 03 Dec 2014

Following on from our last blog post highlighting the importance of a corporate rate, I’m sure you’re all wondering: how do I get one of those? So we've put together some simple tips and hints which may help you!

How can I set up a corporate rate?

One major factor that is essential for setting up a corporate rate is specific information the venue will require in order to give you the best possible opportunity to negotiate the cheapest rate; basically the more you book the better the rate. To get this vital information you need a way of tracking and recording your bookings, many companies will do this through a manual process using spreadsheets. Every booking that is made has to be manually typed into a spreadsheet which can be very time consuming and there is also room for human error.

Where can I get the information required quickly and accurately?

Advances in technology now means that any reputable booking company will have invested in a system that can be used for all your booking requirements and track, monitor and record what you’re spending and where.  Hospitality Guaranteed have produced an industry leading system whereby bookings are placed, stored and archived and Management Information can be instantly accessed and downloaded.  This information is like your pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, except this one actually exists! It’s this gold that gives you buying power which in turn saves you time and money. It's also vital information for making buying decision within your company.

So, I've got my information, what do I do now?

Once you have this information, you need a method of contacting as many venues as possible to establish what facilities they have (i.e. car parking facilities, maximum room capacity, access to rail and transport links), what rate they can offer you based on your Management Information, and what they can give you as added value to stand out from other competitors. You also need a way of being able to collate all that information into one report so you can shortlist which venues have the best potential.

Help, how can I do that?

Don’t worry, we have a smart solution for you! You might have heard of it; HG One Stop. HG One Stop is Hospitality Guaranteed's bespoke on-line system that can automatically send out RFQ’s (Rate Finding Quotation) that asks all the important questions you need to know, collate the information for you and allows you to easily export from the system into a one comprehensible report.

Want to set up a Corporate Rate?

Give us a call today on 0844 8223227 and we can start looking into how to save your company precious time and money, or contact emma@hospitalityguaranteed.co.uk

Emma Hall

The Importance of a Corporate Rate 17 Nov 2014

Saving money is always a priority, whether you’re in Procurement, Finance or just an everyday person traveling on business. That’s why I thought it would be a good idea to write about the importance of a corporate accommodation rate.

Firstly, what is a corporate rate?

A corporate rate is an agreed rate for a certain period of time based on a pre-agreed number of bed nights or spends in a specific location- this is a fixed rate and does not increase in line with the other flexible rates the hotel is selling. This could be, for example, an agreed accommodation rate including breakfast or dinner in a regularly used location.

When booking accommodation, it’s not a secret that prices and terms vary drastically from one minute to the next. The rate you are offered from hotels and websites depends mainly on the location you have selected and the availability within the area which causes headaches when trying to manage travel costs and company budgets.

Why do normal booking rates vary so much?

I have tried to outline a prime example of this; Employee 1 books a room @ £75.00, that afternoon Employee 2 books the same hotel for the same dates @ £95.00, the following day Employee 3 books the same hotel and same dates @ £120.00 the explanation of this by the hotel is that the demand for the rooms has gone up hour by hour and day/day and they now have fewer rooms to sell pushing the price of the rooms up. Massively frustrating for the budget holder and the manager of the department as costs cannot be controlled.

How can a Corporate Rate help?

In the above situation a corporate rate could help massively. For example, a set rate of £75.00 B&B can keep all bookings at the same rate, whatever time of the year you are booking subject to the hotels “availability and terms”. The rooms can be honoured for a higher percentage of their available room stock and your employees can take advantage of knowing that in most cases this is the rate that they will be offered, the managers and budget holders are happy as they can now report and review the spend and forecasts are more aligned to actual figures.

How much money can be saved?

If you set up a corporate rate, which more or less guarantees you an agreed rate each time you book, then the cost savings that can be made are fundamental. By setting up a corporate rate for one of our clients we managed to save them £54,770 which was a reduction of 23.59% on their previous year’s savings.

So why doesn't everyone do this?

The only downside to setting up a corporate rate is that it can be time consuming to do as you often need vital statistics and proof of previous bookings prior to the venue confirming a rate. Also, it's often difficult to get through to the most relevant person within the venue to set up a rate, especially if they are used to dealing with larger companies with bigger budgets! As Hospitality Guaranteed will often already have the statistics and contacts required, a corporate rate could be agreed quickly and securely for you. If you would like to chat to us regarding setting up a corporate rate, give us a call on 0844 8223227 or drop me an email: emma@hospitalityguaranteed.co.uk

Emma Hall

 

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meine Reise nach Frankfurt : my trip to Frankfurt 29 Oct 2014

Frankfurt is Germany’s fifth largest city with a population of 680,000. It has many tourist attractions such as The Old Town, Skyscrapers,St. Bartholomäus Imperial Cathedral (Kaiserdom), the Christmas market and much much more. Experiencing Frankfurt from a corporate perspective with its Finance District is very different and almost feels like another world. Hospitality Guaranteed got to experience both. Stepping one way to the cultural historic Frankfurt and stepping the other way and being surrounded by modern skyscraper buildings. It was a phenomenal experience.

Friday 24th October: Hilton Frankfurt Airport

Hilton Frankfurt Airport is literally situated next to Frankfurt Airport with a very unique set up. You’re in a building and Hilton Frankfurt Airport Hotel is in that building (I’m probably not making sense here), basically a building within a building; located in the iconic ‘The Squaire’, which looks like a glass ship from the outside, means that the hotel is sitting on top of the InterCity Express train station, 15 minutes journey from downtown Frankfurt. You have immediate access to the airport via Terminal 1 as well as a connection to the intersection of the A3 and A5 motorways.

My suite was larger than most flats I’ve been in. There was a coffee station and mini bar and to top it off I had both a bath and shower in the main onsite bathroom. This makes a massive difference for me whether I’m traveling for leisure or corporate because you never know when you're going to have a long day and all you want to do is soak in the bath. As soon as I seen the size of the tub I  could have ran a steamy bubble bath and ate my complimentary chocolates and grapes like a true queen in her tower.

The staff and service at the hotel were brilliant. The staff truly went that extra mile for you. I, not surprisingly, forgot my adaptor and even though there was a UK plug in the room it was attached to the business desk for using your laptop and it wasn’t near a mirror. I asked at reception if they had any adaptors and unfortunately they didn’t have any left, but they didn’t stop there. The receptionist rang the Hilton Garden Inn next door and managed to get an adaptor from them. And the good service continued throughout our stay; at our evening meal the staff were extremely polite, we didn’t have to ask for anything as they were already by our side topping up our wine glasses or asking if we needed anything else. They served a local white wine which was to die for. The meal itself tasted amazing! I’ve not had a meal like it in a hotel before. If this was a local Hilton Hotel close to home I would want to go to this restaurant at my own leisure even if I wasn’t stopping at the hotel.

Saturday 25h October: Hilton Mainz Hotel/ Hilton Frankfurt

I had a lovely sleep, and it wasn’t because of the wine we had, but because the bed was big enough to sprawl out and sleep like a baby. Also, the hotel was very quiet. I was not disturbed by any doors shutting, traffic or public noise all night. A little touch which makes the biggest difference is the fact the bed had a built in reading light so in the morning I could just flick the light on, without any difficulty in reaching for a light/ lamp switch, and it only lit up my side of the bed.

Having a show around the hotel after breakfast we established the hotel can hold maximum capacity of 570 delegates in the main ballroom, with 10 meetings rooms in total. The hotel is only two years old being built in 2012 which means the pictures you see of the hotel actually look exactly the same as the hotel as it does now.

Before I move onto Hilton Mainz Hotel, I will tell you a quick fact about the hotel, which being a huge fan, I was very impressed! Justin Bieber actually stopped at this hotel! Ok, so it’s not the best of facts but imagine going to Frankfurt for business and telling your teenage daughter you stopped in the same hotel as Justin Bieber- major parent points for you!

Hilton Mainz Hotel is similar to Hilton Frankfurt Airport in terms of its modern feel. However it is very different and unique in style; not every Hilton hotel is the same. There is one meeting room in the hotel that has a lot of character with a classic ballroom style decor perfect for awards ceremonies or a private dining function. The hotel is also attached to the Mainz Congress, which has a lot of space for larger events such as exhibitions, making the hotel very flexible in delegate numbers.

My favourite part of the trip was definitely visiting Mainz Old Town. As the Hilton Mainz Hotel is situated on the edge of Old Town on the picturesque banks of the River Rhine there is so much to do and all within walking distance. We took a tour of the town and there was a market going on with fresh vegetables and homemade crafts and there was one stall selling eggs with a rooster. This was a real life rooster- I kid you not! It took me 22years and a trip to Germany to stroke a rooster but it was definitely worth it! The Old Town gave you a really good feel for the culture of Frankfurt and it’s perfect for having a break from your corporate business travel if you get an hour or so in between meetings.

On the Saturday evening we checked-in at Hilton Frankfurt. This hotel has a lot of character and history located in the heart of Frankfurt city centre. The hotel used to be the City Pool and still has a half size Olympic swimming pool. The hotel has kept a running theme throughout of water and waves. You can see this in the lighting fixtures in the meeting rooms as they look like waves and there is a fountain in the reception area that you can hear the running water. One of the staircases is also the old frame of the diving board which was used for the pool.

I’m not a massive fan of heights, in fact I’m terrified! As my suite was on the 12th floor I resisted looking out the window for as long as I could however my curiosity always gets the better of me, which I’m glad as the view was amazing. I could see Frankfurt’s Skyline, including the famous Main Tower and the roads leading into the city. I wasn’t so scared after all as the comfort of my welcoming slippers with my name on them and also some complimentary chocolates definitely helped me feel right at home.

Before heading into the city centre to experience Frankfurt at night, we had a lovely meal and a cocktail making class. This was a brilliant idea for a team activity and we had a lot of fun trying out recipes- my favourite being the Jack Daniels Lynchburg Lemonade. At night we experienced the Main Tower first hand. This tower is 200m tall and to get to the top you have to take a lift which gets you there in about 60 seconds or so. At the top of the Tower you have a panoramic view of Frankfurt, which was breath-taking!

Sunday 26th October

Again, I had an excellent night’s sleep. I think it was the deep purple colour of the room. Purple always makes me quite sleepy to begin with and with good black out curtains and the warmth of the room I slept the full night without stirring. We had the Sunday pretty much at leisure to ourselves so we had a quick sweep of the Business Centre and 16 meeting rooms with a restaurant that has a terrace outside perfect for BBQ style lunches in the summer. We then took a walk into the city centre and passed Frankfurt’s Goethestrasse which is just a block from the hotel and has shops the likes of Tiffany’s, Prada and all the juicy expensive brands! Our trip was truly unforgettable and I would recommend Frankfurt as a great location for a business trip and for leisure…

We would just like to say a massive thank you to Valentina and Barbara for their very kind hospitality and showing us the corporate and leisure side to Frankfurt as a key location for travel. If you would like to see some more images of our trip go to https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.561995293889797.1073741833.105731372849527&type=1

Emma Hall

Why Use a Venue Sourcing and Booking Agent? 28 Oct 2014

When it comes to organising an event- it’s a profession in its own right. However, for whatever reason many companies don't have dedicated event bookers, it usually falls on the desk of a PA or Office Manager.  Even if they do have an Event Booker, organising a small board meeting or large annual conference for 1,000 delegates is never an easy task....especially when you have to juggle organising the event with other daily tasks in your job. Working with a good venue sourcing and booking agency hugely increases your chances of a successful event!

Reasons why to use an agent:

1.       They will save you precious time! They have a vast amount of knowledge when it comes to venues across the UK and usually worldwide!   From your brief they will usually be able to tell you off the top of their heads exactly which venues in that area will suit your requirements and budgets......and even if your brief is a little more complicated than usual, don’t worry, they will have a detailed search system which will automatically generate the best venues for you.  It saves you hours of time searching through venue websites and review sites! Agents are definitely the quickest and most efficient method of sourcing a venue.

2.       They have powerful buying power so will save you money! Once they have found you the perfect venue they will then undoubtedly be able to save you money when booking it.  As they book accommodation and meetings space for numerous clients on a daily basis they already have the relationship with the venue and usually a pre-negotiated discounted rate.   They also know exactly how much things cost and can spot an opportunity to negotiate a discount, for example they will usually negotiate for room upgrades and lunch and refreshment upgrades as standard.

3.       They have experience.  Most agents will have previous experience within the hospitality industry.  They will have had firsthand experience of working in hotels and will have a vast amount of knowledge in conference and event management.  They will not only be able to advise you on which venue is best for your requirements but also additional vital information such as room layouts, delegate registration process, AV equipment etc which will help your meeting, conference or event room smoothly.

4.       A venue finding agency is free! Yep, that’s right! Most Venue finding agencies, like Hospitality Guaranteed, won't charge you for the venue finding and booking service.   The agency generally gets commission on bookings, but because they have such buying power they can still get you a cheaper rate than going direct so their commission will never affect you.

5.       Loyalty Schemes Any reputable booking agency will have a loyalty scheme.  This encourages you to continue to book through them to help increase their buying power but this also means you personally receive valuable points for each booking, which can then be transferred into shopping vouchers!  They will also honour any loyalty schemes you already have in place with particular hotel chains you already book with.

6.       You can take the credit!  As there is no fee your boss need never know that it isn't you doing all the work!  You can take all the credit for finding the perfect venue, negotiating a fantastic rate and organising a great conference!

So what's the catch I hear you say?

There genuinely isn't one!  You may think we are slightly bias but there honestly isn't any reason why you shouldn't be using a Venue Sourcing and Booking Agency like Hospitality Guaranteed.  If you don't already use us then why not give us a try?  You've got nothing to lose and everything to gain! 

Emma Hall

 

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VOTE for Best Intermediary Agency (fewer than 40 employees) 20 Oct 2014

Wouldn’t you love to win a trip to Abu Dhabi? This year we are hoping to be nominated for the Best Intermediary Agency (fewer than 40 employees). To do this we need your votes, which will also get yourself entered into a prize draw for that trip to Abu Dhabi, offered by M&It! This is why and how…

It has never been more apparent that the modern day business traveller or conference booker lives a dynamic lifestyle. Having more choices of venues and more accessibility to systems is something that we all once strived towards. Now, it is more of a burden with the complexity of tracking travel arrangements and expenses, becoming time consuming and stressful with multiple systems tracking and storing many different things. The new world demands a more robust innovative end-to-end online system with a single integrate platform solution. The days of sifting through receipts are long gone.

The main advantages, to the traveller or booker, of an integrated system are: the ease of use, single data entry and the efficiency and simplicity of using only one system- saving both a substantial amount of valuable time and money.

To the organisation, benefits include more accurate tracking and reporting, a detailed audit trail, and tracking against a company travel policy.

A solution which balances the traveller’s needs with a corporate organisation’s, is an integrated platform from searching to booking through to reporting.

HG One Stop is your integrated online platform you've been looking for, and is bespoke to Hospitality Guaranteed. The system alongside the service of the HG Team is the backbone to Hospitality Guaranteed. Whether you are booking an annual conference, small board meeting, yearly event or accommodation, the system can search, book and report.

We pride ourselves on our FIVE star customer service rated by no other but you- our customers http://www.hgonestop.co.uk/hospitality_guaranteed/testimonials. It would be an honour if we were nominated as Best Intermediary Agency (fewer than 40 employees) at the M&It Industry Awards 2015. M&It will also enter you into a prize trip for two to Abu Dhabi including flights as an incentive to vote!

To vote, go to http://www.meetpie.com/modules/eventmodule/mit/mitvote.aspx

Emma Hall